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PocketGamer.biz's most read articles of the last decade

PocketGamer.biz's most read articles of the last decade

It has been quite the decade, dear reader. It's impossible to even scratch the surface of what has changed and what has stayed the same in the last ten years, especially if you're just trying to come up with things off the top of your head.

Which, thankfully, we're not. Instead, we dove deep into the archives to dig out the stories the news stories, interviews, opinions, and deep dives that we've written for PocketGamer.biz and found the ones that our readers loved the most. And now we're sharing them with you.

Yes, your old friend Supercell will crop up here and there. And yes, we have a sneaking suspicion that some of these articles may have been boosted by rabid fanbases. But readers are readers, and we do not judge your reasons for coming here.

So step right up and take a gander at the top ten stories of the last decade that wowed, intrigued, and shocked the readers of PGBiz. Maybe you'll be surprised by a story you once forgot, or maybe you'll just enjoy basking in the warm glow of reminiscence. Either way, it's all good stuff here.


Click here to view the list »
  • 10 How solo-developed Color Switch topped the App Store using 'codeless' dev tool Buildbox

    How solo-developed Color Switch topped the App Store using 'codeless' dev tool Buildbox  logo

    In some ways, Color Switch marked the beginning of the hypercasual craze. It was incredibly simple to pick up and play, scored the top spot in the App Store charts, and then sort of vanished from memory.

    But the archives remember, and they certainly remember the story of how the original release of Color Switch was developed in codeless engine Buildbox only a few years ago.

    "The bottleneck of all other software that I’ve seen is that you are still coding to some degree which takes time to learn; even when I got decent at using the other software, game development would still take a long time and was very frustrating," David Reichelt, creator of Color Switch, told us at the time.

    "[Using Buildbox] was like going from 0 to 60 in that now when I had an idea in my head I could see it realised within minutes instead of hours, weeks, or months; there is no more long development time and most of the frustration is gone."


  • 9 A wolf in sheepskin clothing: How Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen is far more than meets the eye

    A wolf in sheepskin clothing: How Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen is far more than meets the eye logo

    Ask a room full of mobile developers if they've ever played Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen, and you'll probably be met with stony silence.

    That's not entirely unexpected - look at the name and some pictures and you'll probably disregard it as a simple dress up game for casual, female gamers. But my word, it is so much more.

    Our own Ric Cowley (the man writing this very list) took a deep dive into the many, many mechanics of Love Nikki to reveal its darker, hardcore secrets to the world, and hopefully shed some light on how deep a dress up game can get.

    It's a fascinating ride, if I dare say so myself, and it just goes to show how you can mix a niche aesthetic and turn it into a million-dollar empire.


  • 8 Mobile Legends is quietly out-grossing Arena of Valor in many countries

    Mobile Legends is quietly out-grossing Arena of Valor in many countries logo

    Arena of Valor, or Honor of Kings, or whichever of its many names you want to call it, used to dominate the pages of PGBiz back in the day. And to be fair, it was a huge, huge hit in China, out-grossing even Clash of Clans most months.

    But outside of its home country, a little game called Mobile Legends was faring much better - something that apparently a lot of people didn't know about and definitely wanted to learn more on.

    Former Features Editor Matt Suckley took a deep dive into App Annie's stats to reveal the markets Mobile Legends was winning in, and showing it had a more consistent foothold in the UK than Tencent's legendary MOBA.

    MOBAs don't make the news much these days - unless you count Clash Royale, of course - but it's fascinating to see how quickly that shift has happened, given that Matt's article was written just over a year ago.


  • 7 A Brief History of Mobile Games: In the beginning, there was Snake

    A Brief History of Mobile Games: In the beginning, there was Snake logo

    Remember Snake? The grandaddy of all mobile gaming may have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but back when all your phone was used for was texting your mates and calling your mum to tell her when you'll be home, it was the coolest kid on the block.

    Back in 2016, Pocket Gamer celebrated its ten year anniversary, and we looked back on that decade with a series of articles about how the world of mobile gaming changed over time - but the Snake article came out tops.

    "Obviously you can trace mobile games back to the earliest mobile phones, but mobile games didn't really take off until Nokia launched Snake," wrote guest columnist Chris Wright at the time.

    "Still the most famous mobile game, Snake first appeared in 1997 on the Nokia 6610.

    "It has been estimated that over 400 million copies have been shipped since and it's now in its eighth version. Not bad for a game that started life as a some black squares moving on a green background."


  • 6 7 reasons why you can't stop playing Supercell's Clash Royale

    7 reasons why you can't stop playing Supercell's Clash Royale logo

    Clash Royale was always destined for greatness. The first true (ish) sequel Supercell ever made, the game took the characters people knew and loved from its major hit and made it something entirely new.

    But why exactly was it so addictive for people? And why are people still playing it to this day? Michail Katkoff of Deconstructor of Fun wrote about it, and then very kindly let us borrow his article for our own nefarious purposes.

    "Amazingly enough, you can have a meaningful session in Clash Royale whether you have five seconds, five minutes or five hours to spend," writes Katkoff on the game's session length.

    "The ability to cater to all the possible session lengths, paired with Supercell's super fast loading time, means that there's no excuse not to fire up the game when a player wants to or when that Chest unlock timers notification appears."


  • 5 Supercell teases new mobile game Rush Wars

    Supercell teases new mobile game Rush Wars logo

    Our readers absolutely love Supercell, and they especially love it when Supercell announces a new game. Which is probably why the initial tease of Rush Wars is the fifth-most read article of the decade, even when the game was only announced less than six months ago.

    Rush Wars looked like it was going to bring elements of Supercell's biggest games - Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Brawl Stars - and smash them together into a brand new experience for casual players.

    And then, a few months after its huge reveal, the game was unceremoniously canned, despite Supercell's best efforts to make the game worthy of a global release.

    We've definitely seen the end of Rush Wars, but the ideas and lessons learned from its soft launch will undoubtedly lead to a new game in the works at Supercell. We can't wait to see what that might be.


  • 4 iPhone games dominate IGF Mobile awards

    iPhone games dominate IGF Mobile awards logo

    2009 feels so long ago now, even though a decade is nothing in the grand scheme of things. But in the world of mobile games, it might as well be eternity.

    So long ago was 2009 that at the time games like Fieldrunners, Zen Bound, and Real Racing were taking away top prizes at the IGF Mobile awards. Hell, I don't think there's even an IGF Mobile awards ceremony anymore.

    In a world where "mobile" strictly refers to iOS and Android, one might wonder how a non-iPhone game won in 2009. And that's because a DS game, Reflection, took the "Next Great Mobile Game" award, before apparently never beind released.

    It was a different time indeed, and it's fascinating to see a world in which Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and Fortnite haven't even been dreamed up yet. Anyone else feel really old now?


  • 3 East Side Games on why it's not afraid of DeNA, GREE and TinyCo setting up shop in Vancouver

    East Side Games on why it's not afraid of DeNA, GREE and TinyCo setting up shop in Vancouver logo

    East Side Games has come a long way in the last decade, beginning as the developer behind the mildly controversial Pot Farm and slowly growing into an indie capable of wrangling licenses like Trailer Park Boys and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

    But back in 2012, the studio faced an interesting challenge - behemoths like DeNA, GREE, and TinyCo setting up shop in its hometown of Vancouver.

    Not that the company seemed to mind. COO Josh Nilson told us at the time that "We are very excited to see some larger companies move into Vancouver - it's booming here. It shows they know where the next wave of growth will be. Let's face it, in some areas it's really hard to hire and keep the best talent. In Vancouver we are close to everything.

    "We hope they will help build up our strong mobile and social gaming scene and build our community even more."

    Whatever the case, this story seems to be the most commented in PGBiz history, largely by Pot Farm fans. It's nice when the fans roll out support for their favourite games!


  • 2 Flashback Friday: I've played Clash of Clans more than any other game, but now it's time to log off

    Flashback Friday: I've played Clash of Clans more than any other game, but now it's time to log off logo

    Back in 2013, Jon Jordan stopped playing Clash of Clans. These things happen - I've known Jon to stop playing basically every game in existence except Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and he eventually stopped playing that this year.

    But at the time, it was such a momentous occasion that Jon decided to write an opinion piece about it, an article that has apparently resonated with so many people that it's the second-most read article on PGBiz of the last decade.

    There are plenty of reasons why Jon decided to give up his clashing of clans - for one thing, he was booted out of a clan for not playing enough, even when he was at his most active.

    But most worthy of noting is that this article led him to believe that no journalist should ever expense back any IAPs they buy, a stance that younger, poorer me rolled my eyes at, and one that older, not-as-poor me stands with.


  • 1 Chart rush: The making of Clash of Clans

    Chart rush: The making of Clash of Clans logo

    Clash of Clan's success is inarguable. Seven years after release, it continues to be one of the most profitable, well-known mobile games on the market, and it simply won't stop growing.

    Back in 2012, Clash of Clans was already considered a breakout success, but was dealing in such simple figures as "$500,000 in revenue a day" - peanuts in comparison to recent revenues. But it was enough to catch our eye, and it's why we grabbed Supercell product lead Lasse Louhento for an interview on the game's creation.

    One little tidbit from this interview is how straightforward development supposedly was. "This has been an exceptional project in many ways. One of them is that there have been no major problems," said Louhento at the time.

    "It has been a big effort, especially for such a small team, but we were able to focus on the most important task and deliver on our original vision of a multiplayer strategy game that we ourselves want to play."


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